Sometimes it's odd how things come full circle. Just over six years ago, my life was hell. My baby girl was fighting for her life, and there was absolutely nothing I could do. No one understood. No one could. No one still does to this day. I was alone, spinning, trying to catch my breath any chance I got.
Now I find myself in a position to be able to help some of those moms in a similar (yet completely different) situation. See the NICU that we were in for 150 days has been running a support group for about a year now. I was asked to be one of the graduate parent facilitators. At first, I thought no way. The anxiety I'd feel any time I even thought of that place was awful. No way I was going to go there in my free time, right? I was wrong. So wrong.
About once a month, I get to sit down with parents who currently have a baby in the same NICU. I tell them our story in the hopes that they feel a little less alone. I let them know that it's ok to get angry. It's ok to be upset. It's ok to cry, to yell, to feel numb. Because I did all of that. But like any parent, I got up and did what I had to do for my children. I judged myself for these feelings, not knowing that probably more NICU parents than not went through the same emotions, even if only momentarily. They get to tell me their story. They get to show off their little miracle to someone who understands how bittersweet it is. They get to ask questions, to which most of the time I have no answers. But they still get to ask, which is something I wasn't sure was ok when we were in their shoes. They get to vent. They get to cry. They get to be parents with worries they never imagined. And they get to see that somehow they will make it through. Maybe not in the way they dreamed. Maybe not in they way anyone thinks. Maybe against all the odds possible. No matter how long and how dark the tunnel, there is an end.